Green MP slams “scandal” of cold homes

The ex-leader of the Green Party gave a stinging rebuke to health ministers yesterday over the “scandal” of cold homes. MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas asked why the Treasury […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The ex-leader of the Green Party gave a stinging rebuke to health ministers yesterday over the “scandal” of cold homes.

MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas asked why the Treasury didn’t pry open its coffers for energy efficiency.

Speaking in the Commons during a debate on the NHS, she asked: “Do Ministers agree that it is a scandal that cold homes are costing the NHS in England more than £1.3 billion every year, with kids growing up in cold homes twice as likely to contract diseases such as asthma?”

MP Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Heath, 25.11.14. Image: Parliament
MP Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Heath, 25.11.14. Image: Parliament

Demanding ministers speak to their Treasury colleagues, she said: “Do they also agree that it is hugely disappointing that not one penny of Treasury infrastructure funding is devoted to energy efficiency?”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt left it to his junior Tory colleague Jane Ellison to respond.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health and MP for Battersea said: “The Government published the first fuel poverty strategy for England, which aims to address that very issue. It is also really important that all Members do everything they can locally to publicise the Government’s cold weather plan.”

She added MPs can help out their local public health officials and NHS to “get the word out” about the simple measures to keep constituents “warm and safe this winter”.